If you’ve been blogging for more than around a nanosecond, it’s likely that you’ll be fully aware of the benefits that guest posting can contribute to the success of your own blog. There’s a certain guest posting etiquette that should be followed if you want a better chance of your submissions being accepted, but let’s imagine for a minute that you’ve got all your ducks in a neat row and you’re ready to write. What are the steps that go into creating a first class blog post?
1. Never underestimate the power of your headline
According to copyblogger, 80% of people read headline copy yet only 20% will click through to read the entire post. It makes sense then that you should go all out to attract that elusive 20%. Check out “How to Write Magnetic Headlines” for some great tips including why you should always write your headline first and why “How To” headlines are often the most well read.
2. Keep things simple
While no one is suggesting that you dumb down your content, it’s advisable to keep a tight rein on any use of industry jargon. This is especially true with those “How To” articles. It’s likely that at least some of your audience will be new to the subject (hence why they are reading your “How To” in the first place). You want them to go away having learned something and not feel baffled by unnecessarily complex content. Readability is key.
3. Make careful use of links
Good content will always refer the reader to other useful content. As a rule of thumb, you should try to include at least two links for a 500 word post (although more is acceptable). At least one link should be internal to related content on the site to which you are submitting. This will help with their SEO and show that you’re paying attention. The second link should be to a credible external source.
4. Keep your content conversational
It’s difficult to do that if you mostly write in the third person. That style of writing tends to distance you from your message, almost as though it’s not really you that has the interesting thing to say. The less informal second person (you, your, and yours) gives your readers the impression that you are talking directly to them. Head over to Grammar Girl for a quick guide to first, second, and third person. It’s fine for blokes to visit too!
5. Inject a little personality
Remember it’s a blog post you’re writing and not a scientific paper or final year thesis. Blogging (and reading blogs) is for the most part supposed to be fun. It’s okay to insert a joke here and there to make your readers smile; just avoid obvious sexism, racism, or pretty much any other distasteful “isms” and you’ll be fine.
Follow these five steps and you’ll be well on your way to creating guest posts that people actually want to read. One last tip; try to end with a question that will get your readers talking. That in itself is a great learning tool for everyone involved.
Do you have any tips for writing successful guest posts? (See what we did there?).